Billionaire Trump Donor John Paulson is ON FIRE. And Not in a Good Way.

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson is locked in a vicious legal war with his former business manager, is bogged down in a bitter divorce from his estranged wife, and is on President Biden’s shit list for raising $50 million for Donald Trump.

And now, his luxury car dealerships in Puerto Rico keep going up in flames—literally.

A blaze erupted at one of his posh dealerships on the island for the second time in five months this weekend, this time in an outdoor storage area adjacent to the Ferrari showroom.

A spokesperson for the company called it a “small-scale fire” that was extinguished quickly by the Puerto Rico fire department. The company reported “no major damages” to the facility or its cars, and said no employees were injured.

But lawyers for the billionaire’s former business partner, Fahad Ghaffar, who is suing Paulson for ousting from his management role last summer, said the blaze suggested something more significant.

“Since [Ghaffar] was displaced in August last year, there have been two unprecedented fires at Porsche and Ferrari, and the business appears to literally be burning down,” his attorney, Marty Russo, told The Daily Beast in a statement.

“It’s very concerning because Mr. Ghaffar invested $17 million for a convertible note which he has been forced to pursue in an ongoing federal securities fraud claim against John Paulson and PRV Holdings,” he added.

Fire damage at Paulson’s Ferrari dealership in Puerto Rico.

Fire damage at Paulson’s Ferrari dealership in Puerto Rico.


Paulson’s camp said a criminal investigation had been launched and that they were “actively collaborating with law enforcement agencies in their investigation as to the cause of the fire.”

“We consistently take necessary precautions to operate our business safely, adhering to the necessary safety standards to protect our team and customers, Marian Juliette Medina, corporate communications director for Paulson Puerto Rico, said in an email.

Paulson shot back in a statement, telling The Daily Beast his dealership group was “trying our best to get rid of Fahad from all our operations” and is “99 percent there.”

“Fahad has been a virus to our company,” he added. “We are 99 percent cured. We can’t wait to get rid of the remaining 1 percent.”

The Puerto Rico Fire Department did not answer calls seeking comment.

Ghaffar and Paulson are engaged in a sprawling legal brawl over the Puerto Rican arm of the hedge funder’s business empire, spanning three federal cases and three state-level ones.

Billionaire John Paulson’s Divorce Gets Even Nastier

Ghaffar, who started as a junior analyst at Paulson’s fund in 2013 and moved to Puerto Rico to help expand Paulson’s business operations on the island, claims his former boss ousted him from the auto dealership in August and failed to deliver his promised 50 percent stake. He also claims in a separate suit that Paulson booted him from his hotel business, in which Ghaffar had invested millions of his own money, after learning that his business manager stood to make more from the investment than he did.

Paulson, meanwhile, alleges Ghaffar defrauded him out of $200 million by running up personal expenses on his business accounts and doling out lucrative contracts to friends and family members. In a statement in October, his attorneys called Ghaffar’s suits “a sham designed solely to divert attention from his numerous criminal schemes detailed in Paulson’s complaint.”

The parties are scheduled to start exchanging information about the witnesses and evidence they’ll present at trial in the auto group case early next year.

Donald and Melania Trump at the home of John Paulson with Alina de Almeida in Palm Beach, Florida.

Donald and Melania Trump at the home of John Paulson with Alina de Almeida in Palm Beach, Florida.

Alon Skuy/Getty

Paulson is also in a contentious divorce case with his estranged wife Jenica, who claims he hid over a billion dollars from her over the course of their marriage and is refusing to divide the loot equally. He claims he put the money in trust funds for their children and other family members and that his wife was well aware of that decision.

Despite his busy legal calendar, Paulson found time to host a fundraiser for Trump in his Palm Beach, Miami, home this month, and to propose to Alina de Almeida, a 35-year-old influencer.

An attorney for Jenica Paulson told Page Six she had “no interest in commenting on or embarrassing any companion of Mr. Paulson.”

“Her first priority remains the children, for whom she has primary responsibility, and their happiness.”

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